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The Matrix Reloaded (DVD, 2009, 2-Disc Set, Includes T4 Movies Pass)
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Matrix reloaded: Matrix 2: Keanu Reeves has a sex scene, woop de do.
Mar 6, 2009 (Updated Mar 9, 2009)
Review by Alan Lake
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros: Great action scenes and special effects, good story and writing.
Cons: Needs to be edited down and some parts deleted.
The Bottom Line:
A good movie and a must see if you saw the Matrix 1. But not worth seeing by itself.
The first movie is just plain awesome. One of my favorite of all time and a movie I can watch at the drop of the hat. Most fans feel that way. But the second and third movies just did not measure up to the standard set in the first film for a number of reasons. Too bad to because if it held up to the first movie, then this could have been the trinity of trinities.
Recommend this product?
Just to set the story, this takes place in a future world where machines have taken over and are using unknowing sleeping humans as an electrical power source. A small group of freed humans is fighting to free more humans from the power plant and fight back at the same time. The main characters in this movie are Morpheus, Trinity, and Neo. Neo is an abnormality and has abilities no other human has while in the matrix. The matrix is the dream world the enslaved humans dream in.
And for the record, I still think the "real world" is still the matrix due to events in the third movie.
<End of Spoiler>
I am going to start off with what is wrong with this movie first. It is set up in 3 acts. The first act takes place in Zion and is rather slow. Since it isn't in the matrix you do not get to see any cool action scenes. It is actually rather boring and something I have been known to just skip through if I'm in one of those moods. I assume the authors are trying to do some more character building and developing Zion a little. This is needed because of what happens in the third movie. You also get introduced to some new characters that play a bigger role in the third movie, so some character building that is there is necessary. Also there is a message they are trying to convey in these movies and they just fail at that during the first act. The message conveyed is not clear nor easily comprehensible to the first time viewer (at least in my opinion.) It flew over my head the first time I saw the film and I really didn't understand what the authors were trying to say in the first act until my 3rd or 4th time watching this movie. This message is hidden and requires the audience to insert a lot of missing pieces to understand what the authors are ultimately trying to state. And I think they could have developed all of these pieces in 10 minutes instead of 40 minutes without sacrificing much. Maybe 15 minutes if we really need the character building. But in my opinion, I think they really should have just kept the focus on Neo throughout all 3 movies and not gotten involved with developing Zion.
The second act is where the movie finally gets going. Our hero enters the matrix to find the Oracle and see if there is a way to stop this impending war between human and machine. He knows that he is an important part of all of this, he just doesn't know what he is supposed to do. Important parts of the plot are explored in the second act and gives the audience some important pieces that help explain more of what the Matrix really is.
You finally get to see Neo in action in two fight scenes in the second act. One is too long and seems like the same kicking and punching over and over again. This could have been gotten rid of this scene with no loss to the film. The second fight scene is awesome. Very well choreographed and a piece of dance art. I personally love the second fight scene and sadly this was the only good fight scene with Neo in the second and third movies. The authors tried to do too much and make the world come alive instead of focusing on what worked well in the second movie. I feel this is the biggest mistake of the movie. The fights with a particular lead character were boring and not very well done (I'd spoil it for you if I told you the name). Plus the computer graphics of the characters was poorly done in my opinion and they should have only done traditional/wire work choreography for these scenes instead of relying on computer graphics that looked bad.
There is also a chase scene that I thought was very well done and was the most exciting part of the film. A lot of time and money were spent on this scene and it worked out. If you see nothing else, at least see these two scenes in the second act and call it a day.
After these scenes you get a little more dialogue and plot development. This leads to the third act and the climax of the movie. It is here that a huge piece of the overall puzzle is revealed. It explains in a little more depth what the matrix really is and why Neo was created. It took me 20 minutes of going over this particular scene behind the door over and over again to grasp what was being said (looking at every detail and screen). Then it took a conversation with my brother (math major), about how "math equations can be used to predict events in real life" for me to finally grasp what was being said in this scene. Needless to say it is not a concept you will grasp the first time you see it (in my opinion). To say anything more would spoil the film.
The first great aspect of this movie (and the first movie too) is the deep seeded ideas and thought provoking ideas this movie poses. This movie makes you think at a level that others do not. I also do not feel this is an easy concept to grasp because I feel it is deep. I can also see that different people with different theologies would interpret some of these ideas differently. Yes I did say theologies.
The second positive aspect of this film is the special effects. With the exception of the computer generated Neo, the rest of the special effects are just awesome. No expense was too great in making the whole world come alive. You really felt like you knew Zion. The highway scene was built just for this movie. Cars were expendable and beautifully blown up. The second act demonstrates what all summer blockbusters should look like.
The acting was great. Nothing was over the top yet there were plenty of powerful performances. The three lead characters played their parts as well as they did in the original. It was their performances that held this movie together from beginning to end. There really is no performance that bothered me.
The character development was poor for the leads. You need to see the original movie to fully grasp the main characters. And that is ok, I do not want to know more about these characters since I already know them. So no complaints here. But the development of the co-stars was better. It introduced a lot of other characters and gave them some development, and that development does continue into the third movie with these same characters.
Oh ya, also see the Animatrics before seeing this movie because it will explain about the boy who follows them around as well as the Osirius incident.
The key players
Director: Larry Wachowski & Andy Wachowski
Screenplay: Larry Wachowski & Andy Wachowski
Music: Don Davis
Yahoo users: B
Yahoo critics: B
Metacritics users: 6.4/10
Metacritics critics: 63
Rotten Tomato: 76%
RT community: 73%
My score: 3.98
MPAA rating: R
Running time: 139 minutes
Year released: 2003
The bottom line
This is a good movie. Not great like its predecessor, just good. It has great moments and some boring moments. I think it should have focused exclusively Neo instead of jumping around so much, but who am I compared to the great Wachowski brothers. So if you want to rent a good film go ahead, but make sure you see the Matrix 1 first. Heck, go ahead and buy Matrix 1 then rent the second two at your leisure.
Other movie reviews
Matrix 1-Coming soon.
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